People discovered the sweetly satisfying taste of sugarcane on an island in New Guinea nearly 10,000 years ago, and since then, it has ubiquitously sprinkled itself around the world in forms of candy bars and unexpected places like barbeque sauces.
When people first picked the raw cane, they chewed on the hard stem until an explosion of sweetness saturated their taste buds and hooked their senses. It spread like wildfire from island to island until it reached the mainland and by 500 A.D., it was already being processed into powders and used as medicine to treat ailments that ranged from headaches to impotence.
Today, it infamously laces its way through our pastries and Piña Coladas, but what about the other less obvious sugar-laden foods? Nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, and dentists alike have warned of sugar’s power to raise energy levels only to plummet soon after and cause a spiral of bad eating habits.
“Sugar hides in almost everything,” Alyssa Miller, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor who’s currently working on her Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification, told Medical Daily. “Many protein powders and protein bars have a high amount of sugar added in order to make them taste appealing. I pay attention to labels containing sucralose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, malt syrup, etcetera. A lot of products containing these ingredients are things like wheat thins, yogurt-coated snack bars, club crackers, and anything low-fat, fat free, or diet!”
Ample research has been done to track our dangerous love for sugar. Harvard Medical School has found that even if you aren’t overweight from a diet of sugar and high-calorie fats, it can still increase your risk of dying from heart disease. They reached that startling conclusion after a 15-year study revealed participants who ate 25 percent or more of their calories in sugar, more than doubled their risk of dying from heart disease than those whose diets included 10 percent of sugar.
Where are they getting all of this sugar? Many are getting sugar from sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks, which account for more than one-third of our national added sugar consumption. However, there are some who are unintentionally having sugar binges with foods that are saturated in sugar, such as sneaky snacks, sauces, and sandwich buns.
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